Monthly Archives: February 2016

Overnight Slow Cooker Oats


The snow is coming… What better way to wake up on a snowy morning than to a crock pot full of warm oats?! It takes a total of 10 minutes to throw all of the ingredients in the crock pot, and it will keep well in the fridge for several days. Depending on how hot your slow cooker gets (mine tends to get super hot when it isn’t stirred every few hours) you will probably have to add some milk in the morning so it isn’t super thick. 

By the way, have you seen ‘Cooked’ on Netflix? It’s based on the book by Michael Pollan. We have watched the first two episodes so far, and I would definitely recommend it! 

Overnight Crockpot Oats

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steel cut oats (you must use steel cut oats, not old fashioned oats which would cook down to mush)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 5 cups of milk (almond milk or cows milk, sometimes I use a combination of both)
  • 2 apples, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well.
  2. Cook on low overnight. If you have a programable digital crock pot it would be ideal to set it for 5 or 6 hours on low, and then it will turn to warm after 5 or 6 hours until you wake up. You just don’t want it to get so hot that it burns. 
  3. Add more milk if needed and serve.

Makes about 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from my wonderful Mother!

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Manicotti

¬†All of the sudden last weekend I had the “oh no winter is coming to an end soon and I haven’t made a hugely indulgent comfort food dish yet” thought! Comfort food and large cozy sweaters go hand in hand, right? Pretty soon the large cozy sweaters will be in the back of the closet waiting for next winter, and we won’t want to turn the oven on because it’s too hot and humid outside. ūüėõ

This dish was that best thing I have made in a while. There are THREE kinds of cheeses, need I say more?! Enjoy ūüôā

Manicotti

Ingredients:

  • 2¬†teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • ¬†1 medium onion, diced
  • ¬†1/2 to 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cups marinara or¬†spaghetti¬†sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano,
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¬†14 (8oz. package) manicotti
  • ¬†1 (16 oz.) container whole milk ricotta
  • ¬†3 cups¬† mozzarella, freshly shredded
  • ¬†1 cup Parmesan, freshly shredded
  • ¬†6 oz. frozen spinach, drained of excess water
  • ¬†4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¬†salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¬†2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add ground beef and diced onion and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the excess fat, if there is any. Add 3 cups of the marinara sauce, the spices and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add manicotti noodles and cook until tender but firm (about 5 or 6 minutes). Brush a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Remove manicotti from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on the baking sheet to cool.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium bowl combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, spinach, minced garlic and pepper to taste.
  4. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Fill the manicotti with the cheese filling. Note: I used a butter knife and it wasn’t too difficult to slide the filling in to the pasta, it just took a little patience. Place the filled manicotti in one layer in the baking dish. Top with the beef and marinara sauce mixture and the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  6. Dot the top with the small pieces of butter. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, or until nice and bubbly. Allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 7-8 large servings.

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

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Black Bean Burger

Happy Sunday! If you’re like me you ¬†typically ¬†do your meal planning and prep for the week on Sunday’s. I try (try being the operative word) to plan out everything Aaron and/or I will make for dinner the upcoming week and buy all of the groceries on Sunday morning. ¬†Then it’s a breeze to have home cooked meals and leftovers all week long‚Ķ at least that’s the goal!

This recipe is an easy and flavorful weeknight meal to add to your repertoire. Have a wonderful week!

Black Bean Burger

  • 2 cans (14.5 each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated yellow onion
  • 1 small red pepper, diced small
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, to taste (I used about 6-8 shakes)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Avocado (for topping)
  • Buns, cheese and other burger toppings (if desired)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mash the beans with a fork, leaving some beans whole. Add the rest of the ingredients through the hot sauce.
  2. Form in to burger patties (I usually make 5 patties).
  3. Heat a large skillet and melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Cook burgers for about five minutes on each side. Serve with a bun, or not, it’s great both ways.

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Happy wintery mix (if you’re in the Madison area) Tuesday! This is the kind of recipe that a day like today calls for. It’s so simple, just a bit of chopping, throw it all in the slow cooker and you’re done!

By the way, how cute are my soup crocks in the picture?! They were a birthday gift from my parents, and¬†I have¬†six different colors. Good thing I have lots of kitchen storage; you can never¬†have too many kitchen gadgets and serving things ūüėČ

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large (or 5 medium) carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves,¬†minced
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use 2)
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large slow cooker add all of the ingredients, except for the parsley. Cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken breast is cooked through.
  2. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Shred chicken with two forks (it should be very tender!). Return the chicken to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker off and stir in the parsley (don’t skip the fresh herbs, it really adds a lot to the soup). ¬†Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

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